Co-Chair: Nic Rider, PhD –
Co-Chair: Catherine Bitney, PhD –
Student Rep: Shuo “Coco” Wang –
Mentorship Coordinator: Kamille Conanan –
Communications Coordinator: Jieyi Cai –
Membership Coordinator: Josh Chow –
Financial Coordinator: Amanda Breen –


DLGBTQQ Members at AAPA Convention in San Diego


The Division on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning (DLGBTQQ) within the Asian American Psychological Association is a community of students and professionals committed to understanding the social, cultural, emotional, political, and personal factors impacting Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) LGBTQQ identity. The division strives to continue to advance the psychological wellness of AAPI LGBTQQ individuals by supporting and empowering professionals and allies within the field of psychology, and producing awareness and education on the population’s needs and concerns. Additionally, the division aims to appreciate and celebrate the resiliency of LGBTQQ individuals and professionals and the protective factors of community support that come from within the AAPI community. The division aims to foster the creation of psychological products (e.g., theory, research, services, clinical interventions, assessments, etc.) that are sensitive to and appropriate with the LGBTQQ AAPI experience. DLGBTQQ also aims to:

  1. unite and recruit LGBTQQ AAPI psychologists, students, mental health practitioners, and their allies;
  2. provide resources and support for the LGBTQQ AAPIs in psychology;
  3. advocate for research, competent practice, and culturally informed policies in working with the LGBTQQ AAPI community.


A growing body of scholarship has documented the psychological disparities experienced by LGBTQ Asian Americans. While there is limited research that has focused on LGBTQ Asian Americans in general (Chan, 1993; Chung & Singh, 2008; Nadal, 2010), there are a few studies that describe how the experiences of LGBTQ Asian Americans differ from their heterosexual/ cisgender Asian Americans or LGBTQ people of other racial backgrounds. First, because of the lack of acceptance of LGBTQ people and identities in Asian American ethnic and religious communities, it is common for LGBTQ Asian Americans to have difficulties in developing healthy dual identities, which in turn may negatively influence their psychological health (Chan, 1993; Chung & Singh, 2008). Further, as members of both groups, Asian American LGBTQ people may be the targets of discrimination in both of their communities; for example, they may encounter heterosexism and transphobia in their racial or ethnic community, while also experiencing racism in the LGBTQ community (Chan, 1989; Chung & Singh, 2008; Han, 2009; Nadal & Corpus, 2012; Nakamura, Chan, & Fischer, 2013; Operario, Han, & Choi, 2008). Moreover, the intricacies of being LGBTQ and Asian American may also lead to problems with interpersonal relationships, sexual and romantic relationships, and familial relationships (Chung & Singh, 2008; Nadal, 2010; Nakamura, Flojo, & Dittrich, 2009). As a result, LGBTQ Asian Americans may struggle with an array of psychological concerns, including suicidal ideation (Cochran Mays, Alegria, Ortega, & Takeuchi, 2007); psychological distress (Choi, Paul, Ayala, Boylan, & Gregorich, 2013; Szymanski & Sung, 2010); risky sexual behaviors (Do, Chen, McFarland, Secura, Behel, MacKellar, et al., 2005; Lee & Hahm, 2012); and substance abuse problems (Operario & Nemoto, 2005).

The need for such a division is also based on members’ desires to increase LGBTQ visibility and advocacy. In the summer of 2013, a Task Force on LGBTQ Issues was created to discuss various ways that AAPA can serve its LGBTQ members. Task Force members reported concerns that LGBTQ issues were not addressed directly in AAPA and described the need for more LGBTQ leadership and prominence within the organization. The Task Force unanimously voted that creating a Division on LGBTQ Issues was the next logical organizational step to address these needs.